Service is the highest priority for our chapter, and in the past year we introduced several new projects to better serve our band program. We use a service points policy to encourage our sisters to consistently participate in our service projects throughout the entire semester and to create a more well-rounded sisterhood, incorporating both service and open "points." The open “points” could come from chapter service or they could come from attendance at rushes and membership candidate events, attendance at sisterhood and social events, participation in philanthropic events for other organizations, leadership involvement, or other meaningful involvement on our campus. In the first year under this new policy, our sisters recorded over 1800 service hours to our band and our community, and the policy was widely considered a success in our chapter.
Our service to the bands starts in June when sisters worked in the summer band camps that our band program hosts at the university. Some sisters helped out as camp counselors and others worked in the band library preparing music and paperwork for the campers. In addition, we worked all summer in getting the band facilities ready for band camp in August. We worked with the graduate teaching assistants to clean and organize the band balcony where uniforms are kept, and it was a huge undertaking to get all of our various uniform parts organized and ready for uniform distribution.
In August, our marching band season officially kicked off with band camp. Although we serve in all aspects of marching band, our major service to the marching band is our work with uniforms. During band camp registration, we worked tables and distributed uniforms to our returning members. We also took orders for marching band shoes, gave out gloves, and sold flip folders and flip folder pages. During band camp, we fit all of our new members into marching uniforms. For our uniform inspection day, we passed out the band shoes we ordered and we assisted our band director and our graduate teaching assistants with switching out uniform parts to get the perfect fit for each member.
Throughout the band season, our work with uniforms continues through plumes, mending, and gloves. Each week before a football game, our sisters count the plumes out into bins and set the bins out for game day rehearsal. During the game, they distribute plumes to the band before we march into the stadium, collect the plumes after pregame, redistribute them before halftime, collect them again after halftime, and count them before the end of the game to ensure none went missing. Finally, our sisters make sure the plumes arrive back at the band field after the game ends.
For mending, we set up a mending table each week in the changing room provided for our band on game days. Sisters work this mending table along with one of our graduate teaching assistants, and band members come to us with any problems they had with their uniforms. We see everything from a missing button on a jacket to a hundred band members all missing raincoat string, and our job is to make a working fix to the uniform to get it through the football game.
We also sell gloves throughout the season as a service to the band. Over the summer, we buy practice and performance gloves for the band. At band camp, all members receive a free pair of performance gloves, and all brass members receive a free pair of practice gloves. During the season, we sell gloves to any members who needed additional pairs. We set up a table before and after band practice twice a week, and we also sell gloves before and after every game day rehearsal and at the mending table each game day to ensure our members always have an available pair of gloves.
In the spring semester, much of our service is focused on helping the community outside of our band program; however, we remained involved in all service needed for our band. At the beginning of January, we collect all of the marching band uniforms and separated all of the individual pieces. This is a massive undertaking as all 380 members of our band turn in their uniforms over the course of two evenings, and it is our responsibility to take them back and then organize all of the pieces and get each part put away properly. We also assist the Graduate Teaching Assistant in charge of uniforms in getting all of the uniform parts inventoried during the offseason. We also hold several balcony cleaning days to keep our uniform balcony in great shape.
Beyond our work with uniforms in the spring, we also assist with all aspects of the middle school and high school honor bands that the Auburn Music Department hosts. We have many sisters work the registration tables for both events and serve as runners for the auditions, and, throughout each weekend, we have many sisters set up and organize for rehearsals and guide people to the various locations. We also help usher local concerts in the spring semester and set up chairs for rehearsals each week. Finally, we assist with the local All-State auditions in registration and running.
Our sisters remain incredibly active throughout the year in our service projects, and we are so proud of the work we accomplished this year!